What’s The Best Resolution?
MarketWatch.com posted “Five of the Most Popular New Year’s Resolutions” this week which included resolutions many of us have promised ourselves we’d work toward or at least gave it a good try – for a week or two. The most common resolutions that were shared by those who were interviewed were
- Getting healthy
- Getting organized
- Living life to the fullest
- Learning new hobbies
- Spending less and saving more
We’ve probably all had one of those resolutions as a life goal at some point in time. But, did you know that statistics say that only 8% of people will actually follow through on their resolutions? Wow! That’s a bit depressing, don’t you think? And, perhaps that is why I rarely make the traditional New Year’s resolutions for self-improvement.
Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting personal goals. There are times when it is wise to strategically create a starting point to jump start a self-improvement plan or to amp up the effort given to change a habit. Ultimately, however, our life goals would be more wisely focused on becoming more like Christ. I don’t know if working toward our spiritual goals will help us better organize our closets or motivate us to sort through our junk drawers, but if we get our focus on Christ, I do think that many of our life goals may improve as well.
So, how do we focus on Christ? There are so many different ways we can consider His character traits as well as all the examples we have in Scripture. The things that come to my mind are these –
- Peace – because He had complete faith in the One who is in control
- Servanthood – because He lived with an eye trained to see the needs of others
- Compassion – because He deeply cared for the welfare of others no matter how He was treated
- Love – because He sacrificed everything for us
- Humility – because He was willing to become a man and live among sinners
We could get lost in the Bible for hours, days or weeks trying to consider all the many ways we could follow in the steps of Christ and become more like Him. To follow Christ’s example is simple in desire, but very hard to really follow through on. Consider these verses that might bring about positive change in your life in the New Year. If you (and I) took just one to focus on in 2019, the impact on our lives could be immeasurable for us, as well as those we love and serve.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.” Hebrews 12:14a
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
Still to be 'resolved' in my mind for 2019 is in what area I need to become more Christ-like. There are, no doubt, many areas that could use a little helping hand of grace and maturity, but I won’t get anywhere unless I at least prayerfully seek God’s face and ask Him to show me how I can become more like Jesus.
What’s one of the best resolutions we can make this year? To simply follow Christ - in all we do. To imitate or act in such a way that Christ would have us do. We don’t even have to ‘feel’ like it, but we do have to take the first steps in obedience. I have no doubt that after we get used to the motion of following Christ more closely, the desire or feeling to continue working toward a particular area of transformation may even become exciting for us. Let's give it a try!
To learn more about becoming like Christ check out this link to a great article from Decision Magazine - https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/july-august-2010/becoming-like-christ/
Or, consider getting a copy of this book or doing the Bible study version in 2019 - 'Let. It. Go. Study Guide: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith' by Karen Ehman.